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Public sector achievers stand up to be counted

MICHELLE Coffey, Antony Harvey, Western Potatoes and the Petroleum Products Pricing Unit & Information Management Section have emerged as big winners from this year’s StateWest Achievement Awards for the WA public sector.

Ms Coffey, from Main Roads WA, won the employees working in a non-managerial position category award for the drug and alcohol policy she created for the organisation.

The policy was based on the premise that the more diverse and all encompassing the range of people involved in developing the policy, the more likely the policy was to be received as relevant and appropriate.

In the nine months it has been running, there has been a decrease in the number of lost time due to injuries, workers’ compensation claims and sick leave.

Mr Harvey, from the Department of Training, won the award for employees working in a managerial or professional position for designing, implementing and expanding the Aboriginal School-based Traineeship program.

The program helps Aboriginal people between the ages of 15 and 18 choose real employment paths while being supported in the post-compulsory school environment.

Nominations from schools around WA far exceed the 260 positions.

Western Potatoes, the Potato Marketing Corporation of WA, won the marketing excellence award for its efforts to boost the consumption of potatoes.

With potato sales falling – and rice and pasta enjoying a growth in popularity – the “What no potatoes?” slogan was born in 1987 and a series of television commercials were produced using the talents of Con the Fruiterer.

The campaign’s results have been positive, with 83 per cent remembering Con and 47 per cent recalling the Buy WA message.

People around the world are eating less potatoes, yet WA consumption has increased.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Unit & Information Management Section of the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection won the group category award for its Fuel Watch service.

New legislation introduced in November 2000 required fuel retailers to notify the Prices Commissioner of a retail price change for fuel offered for sale for a fixed price the following day.

The Fuel Watch service was delivered on time and commenced operation on January 2.

Its website has had more than 10 million hits and more than 36,000 people have used its telephone service.

Margaret Furphy, from the Office of the Ombudsman, won a special merit commendation in the non-managerial position category.

She compiled a directory containing common consumer complaint issues, contact details for lodging a complaint with the agency concerned and the correct review organisation to approach should the consumer remain dissatisfied.

George Cochrane, from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, won a special merit commendation in the managerial or professional category for his work on the Human Resources Minimum Obligatory Information Requirement database.

Since 1993 the WA Government has collected more than 100,000 anonymous individual work records that allow it to track a number of workforce management issues, such as the extent of the ageing WA public sector workforce and tracking major changes in employment conditions.

The Fire & Emergency Services Authority won a special merit commendation in the marketing excellence category for its Fire Inside Out package for primary schools.

It is expected the package will contribute to a reduction of fire-related incidents in the coming years.

The Department of Justice’s Drug Court Team won a group category special merit commendation for its Perth Drug Court pilot program.

The program aims to help people with a drug dependency to take on a treatment program rather than go to jail.

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